Kay is in her 50s. She suffered for almost 10 years, through eight doctors, laparoscopic examinations, dilation of the urethra, and more. Her diagnosis: interstitial cystitis, a painful chronic inflammation of the bladder that causes victims to urinate urgently as many as 60 times a day. It had made her life miserable. Now Kay is a success story – one of many published in the book, Yeast Connection Success Stories. We would love to share yours. Write us at success story@yeastconnection.com

Here’s Kay’s story:

With the help and encouragement of my husband, I visited various doctors for weeks of tests and finally a surgery to confirm I had a disease. Its name was interstitial cystitis. I was also told there was no cure.

I followed a special diet recommended by the diagnosing physician, kept a food diary for two years to test foods that increased my pain, and received a variety of treatments with bicarbonate and steroids. Gradually, over a year or so I improved enough I was able to go water skiing, snow sledding and be involved in life on a daily basis.

Then, in spite of all my treatments and diet, my troubles returned, and worsened. I was bright red in the vulva, had constant discharge and pelvic pain. Numerous trips to the gynecologist proved useless and repeatedly came back with reports “no yeast infection”.

However, I finally found a doctor who had seen similar cases of interstitial cystitis and he related it to yeast problems. He suspected I was suffering from systemic candida yeast overgrowth, so he prescribed Diflucan every other day. I began improving dramatically, but still was troubled by vaginal itching, headache, and fatigue especially 3-4 days before my period. I then added probiotics, and other nutritional supplements to the Diflucan regime, ate yeast- and sugar-free, exercised, and used stress management techniques.

This lifestyle really works. There’s none of the burning, the urgency, the inability to hardly be able to start the urine flow. If I do have symptoms they are rare and usually before my period. When they occur, which has only happened twice in the past 4 years, I take Diflucan for a period of 20-30 days and follow my diet more carefully. Please let other women know it is possible to get relief.

While you're here, read an excerpt from The Yeast Connection and Women's Health.

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